Friday, August 24, 2012

Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon

          Outlander #2

          I was very impressed with Outlander, the first book in this series, so I had high hopes for Dragonfly In Amber.  I was not disappointed. And, I must say, I cannot wait to get my hands on Voyager, the third book in the series.

          This book picks up with Clair returning to Scotland twenty years after going back through the cloven stone to 1947. She returns with her daughter, Brianna. It is her intention to see if a local historian can tell her the fates of a number of men who were known to have been on the field in Culloden at the final disastrous attempt of Bonnie Prince Charlie to regain the British throne for his father.

          While she is there, she also intends to tell her daughter the story of her travel back in time to 1743, of her marriage to James Frasier, and the fact that Brianna is actually Frasier’s daughter.

          While visiting a churchyard with the historian who is researching the men on Clair’s list, Brianna comes upon the grave of Jamie Frasier.  She does not realize who he was to Clair or to herself.  She only knows this is one of the men who played a major role in the part of history they are exploring. Brianna excitedly calls her mother over to examine her find.

          Despite having twenty years in which to come to terms with Jamie’s death, the sight of his tombstone sends Clair into a frenzy of grief. Her behavior is completely inexplicable to her daughter, and her explanation is even more so.

          The majority of the book is taken up with Clair remembering the time she spent with Jamie in France while there was a price on Jamie’s head in Scotland.  While there, they did everything they could to ensure that Prince Charles did not gain the resources to stage the rising that Clair knew would end with the deaths of so many Scots at Culloden. They were ultimately unsuccessful. The rising occurred and the massacre ensued.

          As dawn breaks on the morning of the battle at Culloden, Jamie insists Clair return through the cloven stone to her own time. He must remain and attempt to save his men, and then die a warrior’s death on the battlefield instead of a traitor’s death later. Clair, who is pregnant with Brianna, finally agrees in order to save them both.

          And, it would appear that this amazing love story has reached its end. But there is another book, so maybe not.

          I’ve read recently that these books are being made into a cable TV series.  I’d definitely watch it. I absolutely recommend this book. I laughed and cried and contemplated the intricate tangle of time brought about by the circumstances of the story. This is another very long book, but Gabaldon has once again done a great job of storytelling.

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